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“C’est la vie…my front wheel flatted 7km before the finish. Zeits waited for me, but it was too late to get back to the front."

Photo: Feltet.dk

ANDREA GUARDINI

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ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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24.08.2014 @ 19:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

An in-form Andrea Guardini was one of the favourites to win today's first sprint stage of the Vuelta a Espana. However, an untimely puncture just 7km from the finish took him out of contention.

 

“C’est la vie…my front wheel flatted 7km before the finish," Andrea Guardini said after stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana. "Zeits waited for me, but it was too late to get back to the front."

 

Guardini was a strong favorite for the expected sprint finish, and Astana Pro Team worked for the Italian sprinter all day to keep him protected as the race climbed a series of short, steep hills away from Algeciras on the Mediterranean coast.

 

After 50km the race reached the open waters of the Atlantic coast and turned north, with a strong tailwind pushing them along the road to Cadiz.

 

A nervous peloton at the beginning of a three-week Grand Tour meant the riders fought for position at the front of the race, and with 10km to go Guardini was well-placed as the race crossed a low bridge into a strong headwind and prepared to finish in a mass sprint.

 

But the untimely misfortune of a flat tire meant Guardini was no longer racing at the front, and despite a quick, professional wheel change from the following team car and the strong legs of veteran Kazakh rider Andrey Zeits to bring him back into the group, for Guardini the next chance at a wide, flat, fast sprint in his style will most likely not come again until Tuesday.

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